December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Have fun and be safe tonight. As much as I would like to be that lady wearing a very cool party mask drinking champagne tonight, I am afraid a week of traveling about in the snow and very little sleep is curtailing any hopes of staying up past 9 tonight, let alone dressing up to the nines. Maybe next year? Goodnight 2011!

December 28, 2011


Hi there. No, I did not forget you - we just took a little trip to Ketchum, ID for the holidays. But, more excitedly, I was published in my alumnae magazine! Page 7. Sooo cool.

Here is the longer version:

Reading the Smith Quarterly gives me a certain level of pride but sometimes an equal amount of frustration. I feel so blessed to be a part of a community where there is a seemingly endless amount of inspiring careers and accomplishments to fan over. But in the past few years, as I have embarked on my new job as a stay-at-home mother, I cannot help but feel a tinge of underrepresentation. Where are the Smithies that chose to forgo or stall their career in order to raise a family? What are they doing to enrich their children and how? I know they are out there. They must be! I cannot possibly be the only one.

December 21, 2011

Thursday DIY: Colored Ice Balls

From here
Fun fun fun alert! Ok this is so cool. I hope it snows in the city this year so we can do this - not sure if I'd be able to pull this off at the mountain, our freezer isn't that big. You basically fill a balloon with food coloring, then water, then freeze. Once frozen, break the balloon off and you have these amazing colored ice balls that you can play outside in the snow with! For full instruction go here.

Edible Wednesdays: Infused Booze

Here's a great gift idea - a little late for this holiday season but who's to say getting a gift in January or March is such a bad thing?  

Step 1: Choose your liquor
Vodka is an obvious choice, but why not use white rum or tequila, brandy or grappa? Don't go for the really cheap stuff, but don't splurge either. A middle-of-the-road, neutrally flavored liquor will produce the best infused spirits.

December 20, 2011

Interior Tuesdays: TeePees

Some DIY tutorials here and here. Once I get the glider chair out of the kids room, I am definitely going to make one of these for them.

December 19, 2011

Winter Outfit

these boots
with this outfit
How happy would that make you feel to see me in these? Cheerful, right?

The Glow

The lastest post at The Glow is really beautiful and I think it is my favorite so far - she seems like a great balance between a creative force and a nurturing parent. I like that she shared a bit of her birth story too and that she had her baby at home! Yay for home births! It's hard to talk about home births and wooden toys and the like without sounding pretentious but she sounds so nice about it and honest. It's refreshing.  
"At this age, I don’t actually think she needs that many toys. She’s happiest with the either her red rattle, a bottle of water, or a box of tissues. If I’m trying to get dressed, I just pop her on the bed and give her a box of tissues and it buys me at least 15 minutes. I really like crocheted or wooden toys for her. They’re old fashioned, pretty, and have been working for years, so why change it up and get flashy plastic toys."

Monday Memo: HairDos

Divide your hair into two parts. Take the top hair and make a loose ponytail which you loop through the parted center as described in the image caption. Then take the lower part of the hair, divide it into two parts and "cross" over the rubberband from the top ponytail (to hide it), kind of lik tying a simple knot. Now fasten the ends of the lower part of the hair in the back of the rubberband either with a pin or two or just pry it into the rubberband.
 Adding a DIY headband and tucking in your hair
 Braided sides then poufy ponytail

December 17, 2011

Holiday Fun

Some fun photos from a holiday party we went to last night...this is a party where they have really fun games where you can win really fun stuff. One of the things we won was a gift certificate, so my question is, do you buy something you wouldn't normally buy for yourself since it's a gift or do you buy something you need? I am trying to get better as using gifts like these as an excuse to buy something new and exciting that I have been coveting but more times than not I end up buying stuff like a cord for my husband's electric shaver that I have been meaning to buy for weeks or wall lights for the kid's room. I know, boring right? 

December 15, 2011

'Tis the Season

It's winter. It's cold at home and even colder up at the mountain. This is what we have been doing every weekend for the past few weeks and what I can only hope we will be doing until about April...and then that warm sun can come back to play.

Family Friday: Disaster Mode

As soon as you become a parent, you start to see all sorts of hellish situations lurking around every corner. I’m not even talking about the normal, oh my baby has a fever is it serious? Oh, my baby has a rash that will not go away, is it going to scar him? Oh, my baby ate plastic, will it rip out his intestines? No, I am talking about the crazy way-out-there I-will-save-my-kids-if-aliens-come-to-get-us stuff.

For example, we live in a city where one of the main highways is a viaduct – it is a two story bridge basically that runs above the waterfront – not unlike the two story bridge that collapsed during that crazy earthquake in San Francisco so many years ago. I have driven this road a gazillion times but not until I had my daughter in the backseat did I start to devise a plan as to how I would escape death in the event this road would fall hundreds of feet down to the ground. I logically concluded that I would somehow hoist my baby – whom could not grasp onto me yet – around my neck and shimmy down the large cement pilings that held the bridge up. I went over the scenario almost every time I drove across this highway – it made perfect sense to me at the time. As my baby grew older, I was reassured that now she would be able to ride piggyback style – I would be able to use both my hands to scale down the pilings. 

Thursday DIY: Dresser and Curtain Revamp

Here are two items in my kid's room that were pretty simple DIY's.

I needed a dresser that was pretty low to the ground so that our little monkey wouldn't have far to fall if he were to lose his balance while on one of his frequent climbing adventures. I didn't want it too big either - these kids don't need a million clothes so 3 drawers each seemed just perfect. I also didn't want to spend any money. Ha! So I found this dresser at the Goodwill for $20 - but it was UGLY. It was this dark wood color that just didn't go with the colors in their room. So I painted it white and added some knobs to make it easy for little fingers to grasp and open. Now it matches the trim and looks great next to the fir door.

The curtains were even easier. I found some great fabric at a thrift store, cut them to size, trimmed the edges on the sewing machine and added clip-on curtain brackets. Done.

December 13, 2011

Edible Wednesdays: Side Dishes

I am sure you are inundated with sweet and sugary goodness in webland now that Christmas and Hanukkah are around the corner, so here are some savory side dishes sure to compliment most wintery main course meals. Enjoy!


These are funny - from HuffingtonPost

Interior Tuesdays: Holiday Trees

Decorating a christmas tree is a special tradition that I think is really fantastic...when you have the space and time. But I have neither right now. Plus I have a very active 8 month old who would topple a tree down in a matter of seconds. So here are some fun ideas for space-saving and disaster-averting trees.

December 12, 2011

Monday Memos: Ayurveda Skin Care

As I mentioned before, I am an avid studier of all things Ayurveda. This most definitely includes my skin care routine. Some ingredients change depending on your dosha, but here is what I use (I am primarily Vata).

In the Morning:
I use an oil-based cleanser consisting of the following:
5 parts base oil (I use sesame)
4 parts aloe vera gel or juice
1 part each of jojoba, avocado, sunflower, almond and Vit E oil and glycerine
Essential oil (I use rose, geranium and sandalwood)

I mix all in a dark glass bottle and it is lasting me forever.

For normal skin, use almond oil + basil, rosemary, or lemon.
For dry, use as I used above.
For Mature skin, sesame + lavendar, frankincense and neroli.

Then a spritz of rose water then a moisturizer (i use sesame oil + neroli)

In the Evening:
I use a dry herbal cleansing powder consisting of the following:
Almond meal, red sandalwood, manjistha, triphala, jaggery, and licorice.

Then a spritz of rose water and my sesame oil + neroli mix.  

Before I had kids I could find the time to do a mask of some sort every week but that luxury is no longer but it's a good idea.

December 9, 2011

Family Fridays: Doing it All

(I haven't had any time to write this week so this is a draft post I wrote a few weeks ago...)

Despite following a pretty grand weekend, by Tuesday I was completely exhausted, bored and frustrated. I was on the verge of tears as I tried my hardest to COMPLETE something - simple little somethings like unload the dishwasher or put away the laundry. But alas, my itty bitty monkey was not having any of it. He wanted my attention and he wanted it now. Of course, he was perfectly content playing on the floor on his own until I started a task or two - then the whining and manic crawling in my direction ensued. I would appease him for a little while and then try to get back to what I was doing. Nope. Not having it.

So I asked him, I said: Sebastien, how am I supposed to keep the house in order, cook us food and chill out if you keep needing me? He didn't seem to have an answer to that one. He can be quite deflective at times. Oh, ok then.

December 7, 2011

Thursday DIY: Shirts

Wow. Some amazing DIY blog discoveries. The top photo is from Sweet-Verbena and is a lovely bow tie top. I made something very similar a few summers ago but these pictures and instructions are so perfect, I'll just pass these on. You can also extend the top to make a very easy summer dress.
The bottom one is from Cotton and Curls - she makes some pretty sweet retrofits from thrift store finds. Truly inspiring! I am going to try this, this, this and this.

The New Girl

We don't have a TV in our house - purposefully - but I can't help but pick a few shows I like to watch online. This new show, New Girl, is the show I picked this year - I love Zooey Deschanel but the character that cracks me up the most so far is Schmit. I actually laugh out loud.

Edible Wednesdays: Ski Meals

Ski weekends mean major food prep for me. There are only so many fries and burgers you can take in one's weekend time at the lodge so I like to plan ahead and bring a bunch of food we can eat in our place or share with friends. Our place doesn't have a kitchen in it so I have to make food we can either heat up on a hot plate or eat straight out of the fridge. Here is what I brought last weekend:

December 6, 2011

Making Bread Part II

In case this recipe didn't quite push you into bread making, watch this Mark Bittman (NY Times) video on a very easy no-knead bread. This ought to convince you of the ease of making a simple bread at home. I try to make Mondays our baking day at home so that we have a few loaves for the week ahead and Maya can help me with the process (she makes bread at school every Thursday so she is an expert by now).

Wow, What a Room

Can you believe how amazing this kid's room is? All the fun nooks and crannies to explore and structures to climb. I wish our attic was tall enough to create something like this but alas it will have to remain a storage facility. But one can dream...

December 5, 2011

Interior Tuesdays: Exteriors

Some swoon-worthy exteriors for today. I'm really getting into this modular home design - I know I am like a decade late to the party but it is finally getting my attention. 
 Vines! So cool.

 Very cool design - would love a little more greenery outside though.
Now this is what I'm talking about - may even be too big for my taste but so beautiful.
I will always be a sucker for the full front covered porch...I need to travel to the South someday and explore the porches there.
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